Cooling Effect – Oceans and the Climate

Go Lean Commentary

Are you smarter than a 5th Grader?

The following is an analysis based on some basic elementary school science. For starters, salt (salinity) has an effect on the absorption of heat – it freezes at a colder temperature (28.4 degrees Fahrenheit) than the 32 degrees for water – salt is thusly the #1 tool for managing snow removal during the winter months in the colder climates. (This dynamic may be unfamiliar to many residents in the Caribbean). When salt is scattered/applied on sidewalks or roads, affected snow would melt … on its own.

Another principle in consideration of this discussion is that Climate Change is mostly associated with Global Warming, and yet, this year (this summer especially in the Northeast US) has been cooler than usual.

So do we have Global Warming or not? Is this a fluke that this summer is cooler than usual? Do we need to prepare for more devastating effects of Climate Change?

Yes, yes and yes!

The book Go Lean…Caribbean calls for the establishment of a regional sentinel to monitor, mitigate and manage the effects of Climate Change on the region’s economic, security and governing engines. This subject is more than just academic for the Caribbean, this affects our life and livelihood. When we get this stewardship wrong, and for 50 years this has been the assessment, we lose out. We have a long track record of losses associated with the perils of Climate Change; consider this sample: Hurricane Andrew (1992 – Bahamas), Hurricane Marilyn (1995 – Virgin Islands), Hurricane Wilma (2005 – Bahamas) and Hurricane Dean (2007 – Belize).

Caribbean losses have not only been property damage and the disruption of commerce. Inevitably, each storm episode created “push” factors for societal abandonment. Then as a community, we lost out on even more economic opportunities associated with the time, talent and treasuries of the Caribbean residents who left – we experienced a brain drain. Today, our “sorry state of affairs” find some regional member-states with an abandonment rate of more than 50% (Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands) and the absence of more than 70% of college-educated citizens.

While 5th Grade Science is important for this empowerment effort, the book Go Lean … Caribbean is not a book of science; it gleans from scientific concepts in communicating the plan to elevate Caribbean society. The book focuses on economics, and relates that the resultant societal engines can be seriously impacted by climate change-led natural disasters: threats and actual impact. The book thusly serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). The prime directives of this agency are described as:

  • Optimize the economic engines of the Caribbean to elevate the regional economy to grow to $800 Billion and create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establish a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines.

The Go Lean roadmap immediately calls for the establishment of a Homeland Security Department, with an agency to practice the arts and sciences of Emergency Management. The emergencies include natural disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, flooding, forest fires, and droughts – all now of more frequent occurrences. These types of emergencies should be impacted even further based on the dynamics described in the foregoing article. Emergency Management is not just reactive, it must be proactive as well. This direct correlation of warmer seas and cooling temperatures with the economy, thusly depicts the need for this CU charter and mission:

Title: Davy Jones’s heat locker
Subtitle: The mystery of the pause in global warming may have been solved. The answer seems to lie at the bottom of the sea

CU Blog - Cooling Effect - Oceans and the Climate - Photo 1Over the past few years one of the biggest questions in climate science has been why, since the turn of the century, average surface-air temperatures on Earth have not risen, even though the concentration in the atmosphere of heat-trapping carbon dioxide has continued to go up. This “pause” in global warming has been seized on by those skeptical that humanity needs to act to curb greenhouse-gas emissions or even (in the case of some extreme skeptics) who think that man-made global warming itself is a fantasy. People with a grasp of the law of conservation of energy are, however, skeptical in their turn of these positions and doubt that the pause is such good news. They would rather understand where the missing heat has gone, and why – and thus whether the pause can be expected to continue.

The most likely explanation is that it is hiding in the oceans, which store nine times as much of the sun’s heat as do the atmosphere and land combined. But until this week, descriptions of how the sea might do this have largely come from computer models. Now, thanks to a study published in Science by Chen Xianyao of the Ocean University of China, Qingdao, and Ka-Kit Tung of the University of Washington, Seattle, there are data.

Dr Chen and Dr Tung have shown where exactly in the sea the missing heat is lurking. As the left-hand chart below shows, over the past decade and a bit the ocean depths have been warming faster than the surface. This period corresponds perfectly with the pause, and contrasts with the last two decades of the 20th century, when the surface was warming faster than the deep. The authors calculate that, between 1999 and 2012, 69 zettajoules of heat (that is, 69 x 1011 joules—a huge amount of energy) have been sequestered in the oceans between 300 metres and 1,500 metres down. If it had not been so sequestered, they think, there would have been no pause in warming at the surface.

Hidden depths
The two researchers draw this conclusion from observations collected by 3,000 floats launched by Argo, an international scientific collaboration. These measure the temperature and salinity of the top 2,000 metres of the world’s oceans. In general, their readings match the models’ predictions. But one of the specifics is weird.

Most workers in the field have assumed the Pacific Ocean would be the biggest heat sink, since it is the largest body of water. A study published in Nature in 2013 by Yu Kosaka and Shang-Ping Xie of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, in San Diego, argued that cooling in the eastern Pacific explained most of the difference between actual temperatures and models of the climate that predict continuous warming. Dr Chen’s and Dr Tung’s research, though, suggests it is the Atlantic (see middle chart) and the Southern Ocean that are doing the sequestering. The Pacific (right-hand chart), and also the Indian Ocean, contribute nothing this way—for surface and deepwater temperatures in both have risen in parallel since 1999.

This has an intriguing implication. Because the Pacific has previously been thought of as the world’s main heat sink, fluctuations affecting it are considered among the most important influences upon the climate. During episodes called El Niño, for example, warm water from its west sloshes eastward over the cooler surface layer there, warming the atmosphere. Kevin Trenberth of America’s National Centre for Atmospheric Research has suggested that a strong Niño could produce a jump in surface-air temperatures and herald the end of the pause. Earlier this summer, a strong Niño was indeed forecast, though the chances of this happening seem to have receded recently.

But if Dr Chen and Dr Tung are right, then the fluctuations in the Atlantic may be more important. In this ocean, saltier tropical water tends to move towards the poles (surface water at the tropics is especially saline because of greater evaporation). As it travels it cools and sinks, carrying its heat into the depths—but not before melting polar ice, which makes the surface water less dense, fresh water being lighter than brine. This fresher water has the effect of slowing the poleward movement of tropical water, moderating heat sequestration. It is not clear precisely how this mechanism is changing so as to send heat farther into the depths. But changing it presumably is.

Understanding that variation is the next task. The process of sequestration must reverse itself at some point, since otherwise the ocean depths would end up hotter than the surface—an unsustainable outcome. And when it does, global warming will resume.

CU Blog - Cooling Effect - Oceans and the Climate - Photo 2

A lot is at stake with this consideration. Our economic drivers in the region – tourism and fisheries – depend on the strength of the Caribbean climate compared to other parts of the world. If change is coming to our climate, then we must be front-and-center in the planning of the mitigations and responses.

The Go Lean book posits that Climate Change is wreaking havoc on Caribbean life now, for the potential for even more harm in the future. This point is pronounced early in the book with this Declaration of Interdependence (Page 11), with this opening statement:

i.     Whereas the earth’s climate has undeniably changed resulting in more severe tropical weather storms, it is necessary to prepare to insure the safety and security of life, property and systems of commerce in our geographical region. As nature recognizes no borders in the target of its destruction, we also must set aside border considerations in the preparation and response to these weather challenges.

To counteract the changes in nature, the Go Lean book advocates the immediate confederation of the 30 member-states into a Trade Federation with the tools/techniques to bring immediate change to the region to benefit one and all member-states. This includes the monitoring/studying of the dynamics of Climate Change. The region’s total population is only 42 million, compared to the whole world’s 6 Billion. We may not be able to change the world’s habits and practices that may exacerbate Climate Change – we must still try – but we can better prepare our homeland for nature’s onslaughts. The empowered CU agencies must therefore liaise with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and foreign entities with the similar scope to monitor, mitigate and manage the causes-and-effects of oceans warming/cooling trends.

The book details that we must first adopt a community ethos, the appropriate attitude/spirit, to forge change in our region. Go Lean details this and other ethos; plus the executions of the following strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to better impact the region’s response (& preparation) for Climate Change:

Community Ethos – Economic Systems Influence Individual Choices Page 21
Community Ethos – “Crap” Happens Page 23
Community Ethos – Lean Operations Page 24
Community Ethos – Cooperatives Page 24
Community Ethos – Non-Government Organizations Page 25
Community Ethos – Ways to Improve Sharing Page 35
Community Ethos – Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Strategy – Vision – Single Market & Economy Page 45
Strategy – Mission – Prepare for Natural Disasters Page 45
Strategy – Agents of Change – Climate Change Page 57
Tactical – Confederating a Permanent Union Page 63
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 64
Separation of Powers – Emergency Management Page 76
Separation of Powers – Meteorological & Geological Service Page 79
Implementation – Ways to Pay for Change Page 101
Implementation – Security Initiatives at Start-up Page 103
Implementation – Ways to Deliver Page 109
Implementation – Ways to Benefit from Globalization Page 119
Planning – Ways to Measure Progress Page 148
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs Page 152
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Governance Page 168
Advocacy – Ways to Better Manage the Social Contract Page 170
Advocacy – Ways to Foster Cooperatives Page 176
Advocacy – Ways to Improve for Natural Disasters Page 184
Advocacy – Ways to Ways to Enhance Tourism in the Region Page 190
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Emergency Management Page 196
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Fisheries Page 210
Appendix – History of Puerto Rican Migration to US Page 303
Appendix – US Virgin Islands Economic Timeline Page 305

Change has come to the Caribbean.

The foregoing news article discusses the threats of warming oceans and cooler temperatures. This is today’s issue. New issues will emerge tomorrow and the days after. This establishes that there is a need for a permanent union – a sentinel – to provide efficient stewardship for Caribbean economy, security and governing engines.

The Go Lean…Caribbean posits that the problems of the region are too big for just any one member-state to tackle, there is the need for a regional solution, a regional sentinel. The Caribbean Union Trade Federation submits for this job to be the Caribbean sentinel for the issues, conditions and threats of Climate Change. The people and institutions of the region are hereby urged to lean-in to this Go Lean roadmap, to embrace these changes to make the Caribbean a better place to live, work and play.

At the time of this writing, it is 76 degrees in the peak of a mid-summer day in Philadelphia. It should be 96 degrees. The weather forecast for parts of Montana is a winter weather advisory during the next 24 hours, usually it would be 90 degrees. Despite the detractors and naysayers to Climate Change, something is wrong! Even a 5th Grader can discern this.


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